CHRISTOPHER joined Watsi on December 24th, 2014. Three years ago, CHRISTOPHER became the 2595th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,212 more people have become monthly donors! CHRISTOPHER's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Tin, a 20-year-old man from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
CHRISTOPHER has funded healthcare for 44 patients in 10 countries.
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”
Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."
Phylis is a 34 year old housewife from Kenya. She is married, has four children aged between 14 years and 18 months, and her husband works as a mechanic. Three months ago, Phylis began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Phylis receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 19th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I look forward to raising my children and especially my baby without my family having to worry about my health,” says Phylis.
Colette is a young mother from Haiti. She lives with her husband and baby son in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Colette has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered a number of years ago, and it cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Colette will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On December 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing funds to pay for surgery. Colette's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Colette's family overseas. "I am very relieved I can have this surgery so that I know I will be alive to take care of my son," Colette shared.
Ngwe is a 46-year-old from Burma. She lives with her husband and 16-year-old son in Winkabar Village, Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. Her son studies in grade 6 while her husband works as a day labour tapping rubber trees. Ngwe stopped working three years ago because of her health problems. Ngwe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Ngwe feels tired and sometimes she has heart palpitation when she is active. She cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ngwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “When I recover fully, I want to meditate [at the temple]. I also want to help out with household chores and make merit through various activities,” said Ngwe.
Samnang currently studies in sixth grade, and enjoys playing with his two sisters, reading books, and listening to music. Samnang was born with scoliosis. Since birth, the curvature in his spine has been slowly worsening over time. Today, he experiences pain when lying down, and difficulty walking, breathing, and sleeping. Surgery will remove the curve in Samnag's spine and realign the bones along his lower spine. Samnang will be able to breathe normally and walk and sleep without difficulty. He looks forward to returning to school and playing with his friends and siblings.
Abdirahim is a child from Ethiopia. Abdirahim is a cute boy who loves to play with others. He loves to play football with other children in the village. He also loves to watch animation movies. Abdirahim’s father is retired while his mother was a business woman who supported the family until six months ago when she passed away. Abdirahim has five siblings. Abdirahim underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Abdirahim's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $961 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdirahim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 09 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His dad said “After the operation I see a bright future for our child. I believe his trouble will come to end. And for us the families, it is a big relief.”
Samnang is a four-year-old boy from Cambodia. He likes to play toys with his brothers and sisters, and enjoys watching television. In August 2015, Samnang burned his hand when coming into contact with boiling water. The skin has since healed, but it has tightened around the burn, making it difficult for him to move or flex his hand. When Samnang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for half an hour seeking treatment. On August 7, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightened skin, allowing him to move his without any restrictions. Now, he needs help to fund this $448 procedure. She says, "I hope that after surgery, I won' have to worry about my son's condition, and that his hand will heal and he will be able to move it like normal again."
Alphatina is a mother of two children from Kenya. She suffered burns when the kerosene stove she was using blew up in July 2016. She healed with contractures on her neck, and she is not able to move her head freely Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Alphatina receive treatment. On July 22, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Alphatina says, “I would want to be well and continue bringing up my children together with my husband."
Bernard is a casual laborer from Kenya. In April, he sustained injuries on his head, body, and both hands. He is in chronic pain and cannot use his hands. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 10, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I am so desperate and would not like to become disabled. I hope to have my own family and so pray that I get help so that my hand can be well again,” says Bernard.
Srey Ka is a sixth grade student from Cambodia. She likes to read books and watch TV, and hopes to become an accountant when she grows up. When she was a child, Srey Ka had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Srey Ka experiences discharge, headaches, hearing loss, and tinnitus. It is difficult for her focus in school and she often has ear discharge and cannot hear. Srey Ka traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 8, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her mother says, "I hope that after my daughter's surgery, I will no longer have to worry about her and she will be able to hear clearly."
Joshua is a student from Tanzania. He loves going to school to make new friends and learn. Joshua was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Joshua is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 9. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $986 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joshua’s mother says, “I was scared that it is too late for my son to get any treatment since I could not afford to pay for his treatment sooner. Please help my son get the help that he needs so that he can be well.”